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What to do after witnessing a 'hit-and-run' incident

2018-06-28 10:58

Robin Classen

'HIT AND RUNS' EXPLAINED: Research has been conducted into why road users flee the scene of a crash. Image: iStock

Whether it is a slight fender bender or something more serious like knocking a pedestrian, a hit and run incident is a crime in SA.

Wheels24 did an article last year and touched on the subject, saying that no matter the severity, a crash is a crash and should be reported.

Things to keep in mind

In the event of a traffic collision, you should exchange details with the motorist involved instead of speeding off with greater punishment attached to it.

In some cases, number plates or vehicle descriptions can be taken down by bystanders to trace back to the driver.

READ: Fleeing the scene of a 'hit-and-run' is criminal in SA... even if it's just a scratch

                                                                           Image: iStock

What to do when witnessing a hit and run situation:

• A witness should never attempt to follow a hit-and-run vehicle. In the worst case scenario, the witness could be the suspect's next victim.

• Without jeopardizing your safety, attend to the victim, but try and memorize as much of the circumstances that took place and report to the authorities.

• Requesting immediate medical assistance and securing the scene to prevent a secondary collision into the victim would do far more for the victim than chasing after an offender.

• A witness should take note of the incident itself, assisting police officials with details of what has occurred.

• You may try to record the registration number but it is also important to try remembering the make and model of the vehicle, and any other distinctive marks (advert on the window). If you are not fluent in identifying types of vehicles, try to remember a description thereof.

• When clearly a criminal act – Call the SAPS on the 10111 number.

• Where someone has been struck in a hit-and-run it is of the utmost importance to call the numbers of emergency medical services you may know or the Emergency numbers along our national roads such as 10177 or 112.

• When there appears to be criminal activity on our tolled roads, remember these roads are well managed with 24/7 operational call centres and able to summon immediate assistance from roads, traffic and medical personnel.

• Reckless driving can also be reported to the National Traffic Call Centre on the number 0861 400 800.

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